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how many pea plants?

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how many pea plants?

Post  martha on 3/14/2010, 3:56 pm

So, as most of you know, my husband and I own a restaurant and I grow some of the produce. (What a great excuse!!!) Last year was my first year SFG'ing. For most of you, Mel's point about growing less and enjoying all of it makes sense. But I am trying to figure out how many pea plants to grow. We need to have enough to offer for a special for a busy week-end. If I harvest enough peas for 4 people at a time, it doesn't do us any good. I have searched the net, and I get yields per acre, but what is the yield per SF?

I sure hope someone can help me!

Thanks, Martha
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  gridgardener on 3/14/2010, 4:16 pm

between 25-100 plants are needed to produce 1 lb fresh peas from bush pea plants.


Last edited by gridgardener on 3/14/2010, 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  martha on 3/14/2010, 5:27 pm

@gridgardener wrote:between 25-100 plants are need to produce 1 lb fresh peas from bush pea plants.





But thank you!
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/14/2010, 5:34 pm

Are these peas to be shelled or the snap variety? If the snap variety, from past experience I can tell you that I get about 1 lb. per plant every two or three weeks. It heats up so quickly here in Texas that I usually only get two pickings, but you may get more. Don't know about shelled peas because I refuse to do all that work getting those peas out of the cases!

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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  martha on 3/14/2010, 6:42 pm

funny, I was just signing back on to ask you if you were talking about shelled or not. I am growing snows and sugar snaps. So your latest info is much less discouraging!

I agree - shelling peas is just too much work for a little tiny pile of peas!
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/15/2010, 1:39 pm

Since you are wanting these for a specific weekend might I recommend planting two plants for each pound you need? That might be overkill as they will continue to produce, but if it were me, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Also, I've found that peas tend not to have a high germination rate, so instead of placing them carefully 8 per square as Mel recommends, I make two shallow rows and plant about 18 to 20 per square. In the rare case I have more than 8 germinate, I usually don't thin since peas like to be crowded. I get a bit better rate when I use innoculant, but usually don't bother. But I've not grown them in Mel's mix before so that might make a difference.

BTW, I found a site about growing English peas, and if I did my math right, it takes 4 - 6 plants per pound of shelled peas grown commercially. How on earth did grandma and grandpa manage to grow enough for a family?!?!?!

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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/15/2010, 1:48 pm

belfrybat wrote: How on earth did grandma and grandpa manage to grow enough for a family?!?!?!

Long double rows
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  happyfrog on 3/16/2010, 3:28 pm

this is a very helpful thread! i'm going out and gonna add more peas in to my square because i had 5 planted per square and i am averaging 1-2 plants per square right now. . .so i'll add in a bunch more to each square. i sure have enough peas in the envelope to use, lol.. . so crowding is ok - also good to know. . . Smile

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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  martha on 3/16/2010, 7:20 pm

belfry bat, good input, since in my case, it is better to have too many than not enough. I'm not complaining, but it's hard gardening for a crowd! It brings up such a different set of questions. But what a great excuse for me to get out into the garden again, and again, and again..... nope, don't got no weeds, but what if another pea grew?
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  LupinFarm on 3/16/2010, 8:19 pm

belfrybat wrote:Since you are wanting these for a specific weekend might I recommend planting two plants for each pound you need? That might be overkill as they will continue to produce, but if it were me, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Also, I've found that peas tend not to have a high germination rate, so instead of placing them carefully 8 per square as Mel recommends, I make two shallow rows and plant about 18 to 20 per square. In the rare case I have more than 8 germinate, I usually don't thin since peas like to be crowded. I get a bit better rate when I use innoculant, but usually don't bother. But I've not grown them in Mel's mix before so that might make a difference.

BTW, I found a site about growing English peas, and if I did my math right, it takes 4 - 6 plants per pound of shelled peas grown commercially. How on earth did grandma and grandpa manage to grow enough for a family?!?!?!

You don't get a good germination rate? Nearly every single pea 'seed' I plant germinates and turns into a plant.

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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  boffer on 3/16/2010, 8:34 pm

@LupinFarm wrote:You don't get a good germination rate? Nearly every single pea 'seed' I plant germinates and turns into a plant.

That's been my experience, too. But I swear the jays watch me plant them and dig in just as soon as my back is turned! I have to cover them with a light crop cover till they're 3-4 inches tall.
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  martha on 3/16/2010, 9:28 pm

boffer, what do you usually use as a cover crop with the peas?
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  boffer on 3/16/2010, 9:57 pm

uh, crop cover cloth? It comes in a roll, I don't have the packaging anymore, but I'm pretty sure it said 'crop cover cloth'. It's whitish, lightweight, gauzy, translucent. I imagine some kind of similar fabric would work. I lay it on top of my carrot greens to keep the deer from eating them. I tried it on cabbage to keep the moths off last year, but I put it on too late.
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  martha on 3/17/2010, 11:10 am



I get it now!
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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/17/2010, 6:24 pm

@LupinFarm wrote:

You don't get a good germination rate? Nearly every single pea 'seed' I plant germinates and turns into a plant.

It might be our Texas winter/spring weather. Hot one day and freezing the next. The package of snap peas I have states 70% or better germination rate, and that's just about what I get. BUT I haven't grown them in Mel's mix so that might make a difference.

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Re: how many pea plants?

Post  LupinFarm on 3/17/2010, 6:46 pm

belfrybat wrote:
@LupinFarm wrote:

You don't get a good germination rate? Nearly every single pea 'seed' I plant germinates and turns into a plant.

It might be our Texas winter/spring weather. Hot one day and freezing the next. The package of snap peas I have states 70% or better germination rate, and that's just about what I get. BUT I haven't grown them in Mel's mix so that might make a difference.

Last year we had an awful season, we had snow up into May. Constant freeze-thaw and I put out some seeds in April that I didn't think would germinate, and in May I found little pea plants popping up everywhere because I'd tilled our plot garden LOL. Our regular soil up in the garden area is sandy loam, as it used to be a sacrifice area for cows back in the day. I just planted about 20ft of Lincoln Homesteader Peas, ... I saw someone else nearby last year who just sprinkled the seeds about 1" apart in a shallow trench (1") and covered with soil, later in the year it was just spilling over with peas... insane!

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